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chicago surrocacy lawyerIllinois is a surrogacy-friendly state for same-sex couples who want to have a child through surrogacy. The Gestational Surrogacy Act of the Illinois General Assembly governs the legal framework for surrogacy arrangements in the state. This act sets forth specific guidelines and requirements that ensure the rights of all parties involved are protected. 

What is Gestational Surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is a process in which a surrogate mother is implanted with an embryo created from the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors. The surrogate mother carries the pregnancy to term and delivers the child, but the child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate mother.

Requirements for Surrogacy in Illinois

The Gestational Surrogacy Act of the Illinois General Assembly requires that all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement undergo a psychological evaluation before the arrangement begins. The intended parents must also obtain legal representation before entering into a surrogacy agreement, and the surrogate mother must have her legal representation as well. The Act also requires that the surrogacy agreement be in writing and signed by all parties involved, including the surrogate's spouse, if applicable.


chicago order of protection lawyerA separation, divorce, or custody dispute can cause emotions to run hot. An emotionally unstable spouse may become abusive when he or she is confronted with possible family changes. Some people choose to leave their spouse or seek full custody of their children precisely because their partner is abusive. Domestic violence is shockingly common in the United States. On average, 10 million Americans suffer as a result of domestic violence each year, and about one in three women and one in four men will suffer intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Fortunately, there are legal options for those who wish to protect themselves or their children from an abusive partner.  

Understanding Orders of Protection in Illinois

In Illinois, orders of protection are designed to protect a person from the threat of imminent harm. An emergency order of protection can be easily acquired and does not require the person seeking the order of protection to give notice to his or her abuser. An emergency order is a short-term measure typically given to a victim by a judge for up to 21 days. This gives the abused person time to request a longer-term protection order if necessary.

A plenary order of protection can last for up to two years and can be renewed upon review when it expires. These protection orders can include various provisions but generally require the alleged abuser to stay away from the accuser and/or their children or family.  


cook county divorce lawyerOne of the most frustrating parts of a divorce or child custody case is interpreting legal jargon and unfamiliar language. For example, while the term child custody is still sometimes used in casual settings, Illinois law refers to child custody as “the allocation of parental responsibilities,” and visitation is legally known as “parenting time.”

If you are a parent getting divorced, you may have questions about the language used in the parenting plan. One term many people are confused by is “the right of first refusal.” A skilled family law attorney can help you understand the right of first refusal and how you can use this element of your parenting plan to benefit you and your children.

Parenting Time Schedules in Your Illinois Parenting Plan

A crucial element of any parenting plan is the parenting time schedule. Illinois law states that parents must either create a schedule for sharing parenting time or a method for determining parenting time that is detailed enough to be enforced by the court, if needed. Some parents choose to alternate weeks, while others have the child stay with one parent during the week and the other parent during the weekend. If you and your child’s other parent can agree, you can divide parenting time however you see fit. But what happens when the parent who is assigned parenting time cannot watch the child? This is where the right of first refusal comes in.


chicago family law attorneyIn 2015, Illinois passed the Parentage Act. This provides parentage guidelines for same-sex partners. According to this act, a person can be presumed parent of a child under the age of eighteen in the following situations: 

  • Spouses were married in a civil union when the child was born 

  • The child was born 300 days before the end of a marriage or civil union 


chicago divorce lawyerThe Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 defines domestic violence as an act of abuse (harassment, physical abuse, wilful deprivation, intimidation of a dependent, or interference with personal liberty) that is perpetrated against a family or household member. Since 2019, domestic violence cases have increased, leaving many people wondering how they can legally protect themselves and their families. Domestic violence is a serious crime that produces family disharmony and affects healthy childhood development. If you are a victim of domestic abuse and are filing for a divorce, an attorney can help get you the protection you need and show you how abuse can impact your divorce case.  

The Varying Forms Of Abuse 

There are many different forms of abuse used to control and manipulate victims. And not all of them are physically visible. Recognizing signs of abuse is an important step to filing for divorce against an abusive spouse. 

Physical Abuse - Physical abuse is any act of physical violence intended to injure or endanger someone. This can be anything from choking, punching, slapping, pinching, hair pulling, force-feeding drugs or alcohol, and even threatening and hurting your children. Physical abuse is still abuse, even when it does not cause serious harm. Minor violence that does not leave major damage to your physical form, is still abuse. 

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